Wow. Definitely, an interesting reading. And a special guy, no question about it. On the other hand, the guy didn't cure cancer. Doesn't it give anyone pause to thin that the topic of conversation is 'ads'? You know, those little annoying things you would never click, and which get in the way of your normal life.
I mean we're talking about billions of dollars. So much human talent, skill, intelligence taken away from really important things... Just sad...
I'm not about to say that this is as noble as curing cancer- but then again, the skills aren't one to one. Generally the kinds of people who are able to think at such a high level strategically for a business, have very different ways of thinking from those who do hard science. Science is slow, arduous, and full of rigor in a way that would probably make Neal into a mediocre scientist at best. Things that Neal accomplishes at Google in a week, he wouldn't see movement on as a scientist in his lifetime. They require different sorts of people.
Not to mention- while he is getting paid a monstrous sum of money, think of how many people he is also enabling to have jobs, both at Google and the businesses that use their services. The direct effect is obviously very different, but I'd bet he does a lot of good for the world in his own way.
Equally plausible to the 'providing value' theory are several possible scenarios of externalities that can't be mentioned without asbestos underwear. And as for thinking about how many jobs a person is enabling, we'll just call that the 'dear leader' argument.
Ads are also the thing that enables really amazing things to exist. Regardless of your feelings about facebook, the community it has created has had drastic impacts on the world at large. Almost the entire knowledge of humanity is now in anyone's grasp with a simple click of a button (Google). That was only possible because Google was able to make money off of it through ads. How do you propose that the internet pay for its self without ads? The whole freedom of the internet is because they can make money off of ads.
Not everyone needs to cure cancer to do something great.
What's deeply ironic is the modern internet is bankrolled by brand trademark monopolies, but programmed by a bunch of people who complain about government-granted monopolies...
There's a quote from the 1950's from a judge very skeptical of extending trademark law to the effect of "we shouldn't allow building brands too much, because then people will buy things for reasons other than product quality and that'll undermine competition in the marketplace by making products non-fungible."
I personally like monopolies, so it's cool with me, but you have to wonder what the internet would look like if Adidas sold shoes and not "footwear experiences."
 There is no profit in perfectly competitive industries, and thus no money to do cool stuff. That's why, e.g., Microsoft is so screwed. It keeps hoping for innovation out of companies like Acer, Lenovo, Asus, etc, that have profit margins of just a few %.
'cure cancer' was just a placeholder for anything of greater importance to the human condition. However, maybe you are onto something. Maybe ads are indeed the lifeblood of the new interconnected, networked world of century 21 and beyond. I guess nobody figured out a better way to sustain life on the 'internets'. Yet...
Find a way to cure cancer while serving ads and you'll be both rich and famous.
EDIT: This sounds snarkier than I meant it to, sorry. I agree that there are many things that I look at and I think "This is nuts!" - like how cheap products are that get mass produced in China. Someone gets oil from a deep sea well; refines it, turns it into plastic, ships it to a factory, who do stuff with it, put it in a box, put all those into other boxes, ship it, distribute it locally, someone takes all the little boxes out of the big boxes and puts them on display, and I can buy this for a couple of dollars.
Yes, it's weird that we spend millions on Barbie dolls, and not so much on cancer or malaria or HIV or hunger.
This guy facilitated the ads that support google's wide range of quality services given free to anyone anywhere in the world. Google maps alone has had a positive humanitarian impact to a great many people. It's not the stereotypical marketing exec in an advertising company that only makes adverts.
So, we ship anaconda with our own package management system, called conda. Conda is open source and was created because for scientific python, we need to manage versions of non-python libraries (blas/atlas/mkl,libhdf5, etc..). But you don't need to use conda if you don't want to. Conda is just what we use to install stuff. You can use pip on top of Anaconda if you would like, and we even have functions to turn whatever you did to your anaconda environment into a conda package if you wanted to.
First of all, I'd like to congratulate Ryan Carson on the idea of 4-day work week. Hopefully this would start the ball rolling on the whole discussion of work/life balance here in the states. It is such a great concept and I'm sure will attract a lot of top talent.
The only thing is, it needs validation. I hope the company does really well in the long run, and therefore puts 4-day work week on the table for others to follow. Wouldn't that be great...
Hi Ryan, I've never worked at a place that had a 4-day week and I'd love if you could one day do a blog post about it (forgive me if you you've already done this before). The things that changed, adjustments that needed to be made, how it has affected productivity. I would like to run a company like that someday, but it feels so scary to lose 8 hours of paid work a week.
I'm not sure how sustainable this 4day work week will be. Will it last the acquisition? Imagine buying a company that either makes your existing employee unhappy, make you lose the talent you just got, or forces you to convert the entire company into a 4 day week operation.
Two comments, you assume they intend to be acquired, and why optimize for something that late stage when you are trying to remain an competitive edge? (The edge in this case is a skillful happy workforce)
I guess I shouldn't be that surprised to see the extent to which companies literally copy/paste their EULA's. Perhaps the silver lining is that one instance of this contract language being rendered illegal would presumably set a precedent that invalidates all duplicated instances of it.
Same here... 15" MBA is what I've been waiting for for a long time. I'm on 2nd generation 15" MBPro, which can die any day now. Not sure why this is not considered a priority for Apple, since it would be a perfect work machine (13" is just too small).